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October 9, 2012

Yes, I'm *Sure* I Don't Need a Children's Menu



And while you’re at it, I’m also *sure* I don’t need any crayons or highchairs…but thanks for offering.

It’s become our standard line as we enter a restaurant…”A table for four, and no children’s menus or toys, please.

I realize that catches some folks off-guard, but the question, “Are you SURE???” kind of cracks me up.

Yes, I’m quite certain what I want my children to have.

In a million ways I feel lucky to have twins, and their ability to split an adult entrée is no small side benefit. 

Since the girls graduated to solid foods, I have been adamant that they eat what we eat.   

When we go to a Mexican restaurant, they eat Mexican food…not chicken fingers.  When we go to a Thai restaurant, they eat Thai food…not hot dogs.  When we treat ourselves to a beautiful steak or lovely fish, they eat steak or fish…not a hamburger with macaroni and cheese.  If nothing else, I can usually "assemble" a veggie plate of side dishes, if need be.

I do occasionally look at the children’s menu, and 9 out of 10 times, I’m pretty disgusted by it.  Even at finer dining establishments, there are so often less-than-fine options for children.

I pride myself on our family’s diet.  I cook as much “real” food as I can, and we eat tons of fruits and veggies.  It’s what our girls know…and it’s what our girls love.  And I’m very proud of that, too.

If more restaurants offered kid-sized portions from their regular menu, I’m sure I would change my tune.  Until then, I’ll continue to be thankful that my girls can split an entrée, and that to date I’ve been able to sell them on the same menu item.  (I’ll also note my thanks that a reminder, “We can color when we get home,” hasn’t been met with balking.  Knock on wood!)

[I guess I’m feeling a little soapbox-y right now, coming off our trip to Cincinnati.  We usually only eat out once a week, but we were in restaurants for almost three straight days last week.  It seemed I got the “Are you SURE???” question numerous times…surpassing cracking me up to downright annoying me.] ;)

8 comments:

cat said...

Wow, I think you guys are amazing. We used to be able to do this with our Princess but the boys are just too busy. S I even carry some crayons etc around me some times

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

You are so right. We say this every time we take our children out. How can we expect our children to eat well when all the food offered to them on the children's menu is highly processed and almost always lacking in veggies?

I do take the crayons though. That will buy me a good 20 minutes. My twins can't read the menu and my six year old is a great eater and isn't tempted by pictures of crappy food.

strongblonde said...

you have always been my inspiration in this area. for the longest time we were so freaked out that T wouldn't eat anything that we would just give him whatever he wanted and be happy that he was consuming calories. the past couple of weeks we have made an effort to sit down and eat with the kids and have them eat what we're eating (actually--it was so funny. t pointed at his chicken breast and said that he wanted "real chicken" (meaning nuggets) and that made me realize that we waited way too long to do this.) the kids have always eaten fruit well and are pretty good with veggies, we just have to be more thoughtful about making sure that we are eating together to model good behavior and a healthy relationship with food that is good for your body :)

again, you're a great role model!!!

jandi said...

i agree with you- our girls eat what we eat and they eat some things many adults won't eat. i know in countries like Italy you won't even find a kiddies menu- children are expected to eat off their parents'plates. i do, however, ask for highchairs for my girls but the restaurants in South Africa rarely have 1 let alone 2.

Brooke and Cecilia said...

You are one awesome Mom. Just wanted to make sure you knew it :) My girls eat off the regular menu normally but we don't pass up the crayons.

northsidefour said...

One of the beautiful benefits to twins, sharing entrees! And as an added side, more and more fun as they get older. We love having dinner with our girls who now, at 8, eat just about anything. Even in France! I love this!

Louisa said...

Your approach seems perfectly sensible to me. My daughter is not really well behaved in restaurants so I try to dodge them unless there's a playground attached. And when there is she very rarely can be convinced to eat anything anyway.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Yes! I saw that's what you did at the City Smoke.

I do look at the kids' menu mainly for portion size because I HATE WASTE!

But I must say the last couple of months we've just been ordering something off the adult menu for them to share.

My kids eat anything and Connor actually doesn't eat chips (french fries) which is a fantastic problem to have :) :)

But mandy, on the crayons, I'm ALL for the distractions until the food arrives. I have a bag for each child specifically for when we go out to eat (i need to blog that but waiting for the last birthdays this year as it's also been my "gift of the year" for all the other twins).

PS I see all these South Africans are now reading your blog. Love connecting people!

 
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